Welsh Rugby Hooker Scott Baldwin Reveals Gambling Problems Cost Him "Tens of Thousands of Pounds"

1 month ago
Welsh Rugby Hooker Scott Baldwin Reveals Gambling Problems Cost Him
09:14
04 Apr

Welsh rugby union star Scott Baldwin revealed that a gambling problem had cost him "tens of thousands of pounds" since becoming hooked on mobile online games.

The 31-year old, who joined English Premiership team Harlequins last year after a decade at Welsh Pro14 team Ospreys, told the Scrum V podcast:

"It's one of those addictions that no one will know other than you or the people you want to know”.

He reminds himself of his problem gambling with a phone message that reads: 'I'm Scott Baldwin and I'm an addicted gambler', and went in to some detail on how the addiction took hold.

A 10-week spell in Italy saw him “sitting in my one-bedroom flat on my phone just gambling”, he explains, adding:

“It's so accessible it's ridiculous. You just go online, sign into an account and just spin. I was like just literally tapping a button."

That was in the days before he was well-paid for his on-pitch skills as a ‘hooker’ – a pivotal role in rugby union, and one in which he is now first-choice for his national team.

“I went to Italy, I wasn't on much money. Ultimately, I'd always lose and no matter how much I'd win, I'd always want more”, he confessed.

And when the wins came, they inevitably only temporarily dug him out of the hole.

"I was down significantly. You have to keep increasing your bets, you need to win more so you need to bet more,” he explained.


Fortunately for Baldwin, he never actually got into serious debt from his addiction.

He admits, however:

“I lost a lot of money I shouldn't have lost, due to gambling."

A summer rugby campaign with Wales that brought him roughly £50k meant that he could afford to lose some, but it was still painful and a sign of deeper problems.

“You think 'If I lose a £1,000 that's alright because I've got a lot more", he told the BBC ScrumV programme. “Whether I lost £10 or £1,000, whatever I had in my back account, I would go until I got that £10 back or my bank account was empty."

Baldwin eventually got a grip on the problem, explaining:

"I am an addict, but I'm not an active addict if that makes sense. I don't gamble anymore at all, nothing at all."

The bottom line, he states, is the realisation:

"You're never going to win enough to change your life, but you could easily lose enough to change your life."

The issue of problem gambling is a pretty big one for society at present, and not helped by behaviour such as this from the billionaire bosses of Betfred.


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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more

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